Big East Football Notebook

The first edition of 2008's weekly look around the Big East football conference

Better Than Ever

Under its current alignment, which has been in place for three seasons, the Big East is a combined 89-37 in nonleague games. (.706). That stands as the best three-year nonleague record in the history of the conference.


The Main Event

The Big East representative to the Bowl Championship Series has won its BCS bowl in each of the last three seasons: 2007-08 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl West Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28 2006-07 FedEx Orange Bowl Louisville 24, Wake Forest 13 2005-06 Nokia Sugar Bowl West Virginia 38, Georgia 35


Going Bowling

Following the 2007 season, Big East schools are 9-2 in their last 11 bowl games. The conference was 3-2 in bowl games in the 2007 season and 5-0 in 2006.


We Are The Champions

West Virginia and Connecticut finished the regular season as Big East Conference co-champions. Connecticut got a share of the title when Pittsburgh defeated West Virginia in the last game of the regular season.


Four For Five

West Virginia has won at least a share of four of the last five Big East championships.


Two For Three

West Virginia has claimed the Big East's BCS berth twice in the last three seasons. The Mountaineers were second to Louisville in the 2006 standings.


Making History

Connecticut's Big East title is the Huskies' first in just four years as a member of the conference.


Sharing The Wealth

Connecticut is the seventh different team in the last six years that has won at least a piece of the Big East title. Behind Center Six of the eight Big East schools return their starting quarterbacks from last season. Only Cincinnati (Ben Mauk) and Louisville (Brian Brohm) are without their starting QBs from last year. A quick look at who's back behind center:

Connecticut................Tyler Lorenzen Pittsburgh........... Bill Stull/Pat Bostick Rutgers............................. Mike Teel USF................................Matt Grothe Syracuse.................Andrew Robinson West Virginia......................Pat White


Depth Perception

Seven of the eight Big East teams received at least one vote in the preseason USA Today coaches poll. Six of the eight schools were ranked or received votes in the Associated Press preseason poll.


Poll Positions

Four of the eight Big East teams were ranked among the national top 10 during the 2007 season. Two different schools — West Virginia and USF — were ranked No. 2 in the AP poll during the year, while West Virginia was ranked No. 1 in the Nov. 25 USA Today poll.


The General Consensus

USF DE George Selvie and Cincinnati P Kevin Huber were NCAA consensus All-America selections last year. Selvie was the national leader in tackles for loss, with a Big East-record 32 in 2007, while Huber led the nation in punting average (46.9 yards).


Top Of The List

Three Big East players finished as national statistical leaders in 2007. Pittsburgh LB Scott McKillop led the nation in tackles (12.58 per game), Cincinnati P Kevin Huber was first in punting (46.9 yards per punt), USF DE George Selvie led in tackles for loss (2.42 per game).


Sudden Impact

Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy set the Big East freshman rushing record in 2007. McCoy rushed for 1,328 yards on 276 carries, breaking the previous mark of 1,261 yards set by Rutgers' Terrell Willis in 1993.


On The Run

West Virginia QB Pat White has set the BIG EAST's single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback in each of his three seasons with the Mountaineers. White has rushed for 3,506 career yards, shattering the Big East quarterback record previously held by Rasheed Marshall of West Virginia (2,040 from 2001-04).


Seventh Heaven

Pat White enters his senior year ranked seventh on the Big East's career rushing chart. He is the only quarterback in the all-time top 10.


Pickoff Moves

Cincinnati CB DeAngelo Smith and S Mike Mickens combined for 14 interceptions in 2007. Smith had eight picks to rank second nationally, while Mickens had six and was 18th in the country. Connecticut FS Robert Vaughn had seven picks and was fourth nationally.


Just Win

Connecticut and USF both matched their program records with nine wins in 2007. Cincinnati tied its program record by winning 10 games last season. West Virginia reached 11 wins for the fifth time in program history and the third consecutive season.


Big Returns

Syracuse sophomore Max Suter set the NCAA record for kickoff return yardage last season (1,299 yards). Suter averaged 25.5 yards on kickoff returns.


Long Distance Runaround

The two longest field goals in Big East history have been made by active kickers. USF's Delbert Alvarado hit a 56-yard attempt against Syracuse Nov. 11, 2006, and Cincinnati's Jake Rogers was good from 55 yards against Oregon State Sept. 6, 2007.


Good Company USF QB Matt Grothe was one of just two players nationally to rush for 850 yards and throw for more than 3,500 yards last season. The other was Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida.


We'll Take That

USF and Cincinnati tied for the national lead in takeaways (42) in 2007.


Any Way You Want It

Rutgers became the first team in college football history to have a 3,000-yard passer (QB Mike Teel), a 2,000-yard rusher (RB Ray Rice) and two 1,000-yard receivers (WRs Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood) in the same season. Britt and Underwood are the first Big East teammates with 1,000-yard seasons in the same year.


See Them While You Can

The Big East returns its standing Offensive Player of the Year (Pat White, West Virginia), Defensive Player of the Year (George Selvie, USF) and Special Teams Player of the Year (Kevin Huber, Cincinnati) in 2008. It marks the first time in conference history that all of the major award winners from one season returned for the following season.


Repeat Performances

If Pat White is named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2008, he would become the first threetime winner of the award since Donovan McNabb of Syracuse won in 1996, 1997 and 1998. George Selvie could become the first player to repeat as Defensive Player of the Year since Virgina Tech's Corey Moore won in 1998 and 1999. The last player to repeat as Special Teams Player of the Year was Pittsburgh's Andy Lee, who shared the award in 2002 and 2003.


The Big East on TV

Thursday, Aug. 28

HOFSTRA at CONNECTICUT................. 7:30

SNY..................................... New York

WCTX................................... Hartford

Brighthouse.............................. Tampa

Altitude................................... Denver

MASN (delayed)...................... Baltimore

Time Warner Wisconsin............. Milwaukee

Cox New England.................. Providence


Saturday, Aug. 30

BOWLING GREEN at PITTSBURGH..... Noon

ESPNU................................... National


SYRACUSE at NORTHWESTERN......... Noon

ESPN2....................................... Noon


VILLANOVA at WEST VIRGINIA.......... 3:30

SNY..................................... New York

WCHS....................... Charleston, W.Va.

WTOV......................... Wheeling, W.Va.

WOAY.......................... Bluefield, W.Va.

WVFX........................ Clarksburg, W.Va.

WTAP...................... Parkersburg, W.Va.

WPVI-DT............................ Philadelphia

WJAL................................ Washington

Brighthouse.............................. Tampa

Altitude................................... Denver

WPCW................................ Pittsburgh

MASN................................... Baltimore

Time Warner Wisconsin............. Milwaukee

Cox New Orleans................. New Orleans

Metro Sports....................... Kansas City


TENNESSEE-MARTIN at USF............. 7 p.m.

SNY (delayed)........................ New York

Brighthouse.............................. Tampa

MASN (delayed)...................... Baltimore

Time Warner Wisconsin............. Milwaukee

Cox New Orleans................. New Orleans


Sunday, Aug. 31

KENTUCKY at LOUISVILLE........... 3:30 p.m.

ESPN..................................... National


Monday, Sept. 1

FRESNO STATE at RUTGERS............. 4 p.m.

ESPN..................................... National


All games subject to local blackout restrictions

All times Eastern


BlueGoldNews Top Stories